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Warm currents produce
  |  First Published: February 2008



With the holiday hordes heading homeward, it’s not surprising that fishing in the lake and some of the more prominent spots will improve.

It’s not until we see school holiday visitors that we anglers realise that there are other water users who escape their usual routine by getting on the lake. They include the jet skiers, water skiers, sightseers and small children being trolled on heavy line but without hooks.

Some of the holiday fish catches were impressive, none more so than Margaret Wright’s metre-plus flathead caught in the lower lake. The fish looked prehistoric and appeared every bit of 7kg to 8kg and, true to the ethos of her husband, Merv, the fish was photographed and released quickly. Great catch!

I heard of another fish that was 10kg and was kept for mounting. That would be a very interesting bar ornament.

The boys in the game and trailer boats who have been searching the warm currents for marlin have been doing very well with many fish over 90kg being hooked and landed. It’s great to see the long stream of close-in warm current fringing the coast and it makes the job of finding the beakies that much less arduous.

Some big kings have been getting around the place and mahi mahi have once again found the FAD. There are plenty of sand flathead and snapper on the shallower reefs and around the rocky coastline. Bonito, chopper tailor and the odd cobia as well make for an enjoyable early morning offshore sortie before the nor’-easter picks up and drives the smaller boats back in.

BREAM, FLATTIES

It has taken a while but the Wallamba River has finally cleared enough to target the bream and flathead in the upper reaches. Bream around 30cm to 35cm are becoming more likely and legal-plus flathead can be found in the river but with the clearing water I’d target the deeper holes.

The area around the Coolongolook and Wang Waulk rivers is holding some reasonable bream and flathead and large sand whiting have been taken on lures in the same spot. Drifting beach worms or live yabbies may be worth a go to target the whiting, some of which are over 40cm.

Apart from the flathead, the lower lake area back from the bridge should fish better with the reduction of boating traffic.

The bridge is holding good numbers of bream around the pylons and many big flathead have been observed from the bridge sitting in the eddies and holes created around the pylons by the run-out tide. A big soft plastic or a live bait may be the ticket to tangle with one of these beasts but hooking one is the least of your worries. This close to structure you would need a bit of luck to stop one without being busted up.

The oyster racks near the bridge are loaded with fish and although they can be a little shy at times, a stealthy approach or an evening assault with bait is the go.

Fishing the top of the tide with surface lures over the racks is a dangerous (for the lure) practice but well worth the risk.

Not all the wakes that intercept your lures are bream. This time of the year the long tom are thick, which describes their demeanour, too. Lures like the Smith Towadi, Lucky Craft Sammy 65mm or Bevy Pencils are great for stirring up the bream but cheaper poppers are advised for any three-rack-back casts that risk the prospect of not returning should you hook a horse of a bream, or whiting for that matter.

While the mud crabs have not been overwhelming in their numbers there have been enough to keep the amateur crabber interested.

The blue swimmers, on the other hand, have seen a reasonable season so far. They are full of meat and at night can be spotted with lights around the fringes of the various sand islands that clog the lower area from the bridge. Witches’ hats set at the beginning of the day and checked at the end of fishing sessions have produced a tidy bonus for the day’s fishing. Channel prawns are still worth chasing in Breckenridge Channel.

Talking of Breckenridge Channel, the other day I picked up a new pair of prescription Mako polarised sunnies and I was keen to see the difference in the new lenses (God, I envy people who don’t need to wear prescription glasses!) so I shot off to the Boardwalk to spy on the uncatchable bug bream that live under the pontoon and eat hot chips.

I whipped on my new sunnies and the glare was eliminated instantly but what was revealed was a 1.6m hammerhead shark cruising on the surface up towards Red Spot boat shed. We do get hammers and whalers in the lake during Summer and they love jewie baits from the wall but the amusing thing was, I’m sure the people swimming nearby and jumping off the pontoon would have been less than impressed had I pointed it out to them. What do they say, ‘ignorance is bliss’.

FORSTER CARNIVAL

Perhaps the most exciting new I have is the dates for the Forster Fishing Carnival, which is set down for May 16 to 24. There has been a lot of hard work done, and still to do, by blokes like Chris Maconachie at Forster Beach Caravan Park.

The carnival will envelop events like the ABT Mega Bucks and Mossy and the Marine tank will be there. For more information on what is set to be a fantastic event, have a look at www.forsterfishingcarnival.com.au . It’s going to be great!

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